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Monday’s Art and Quotes

The rooster walks with intent, wearing indifference as his charm. -- Illustration by Pat Bean

The rooster walks with intent, wearing indifference as his charm. — Illustration by Pat Bean

On Writing

“The act of putting pen to paper encourages pause for thought, this in turn makes us think more deeply about life, which helps us regain our equilibrium.” – Norbet Platt

“Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.” – Anton  Chekhov

“Easy reading is damn hard writing”. – Nathaniel Hawthorne

 “I learned never to empty the well of my writing, but always to stop when here was still something there in the deep part of the well, and let it refill at night from the springs that fed it. – Ernest Hemingway

 “All good writing is swimming underwater and holding your breath.” – F. Scott Fitzgerald.      

Blog pick of the day.

Blog pick of the day.

Bean Pat: Wind Against Current http://tinyurl.com/k3mv8dp Fiddling along, crab style. I think these crabs look like pieces of art.

Chigger

 “I had been told that the training procedure with cats was difficult. It’s not. Mine had me trained in two days.” — Bill Dana

Chigger

Chigger, as I saw and painted her back about 1996.

It was Christmas Eve,  1982, a time when my life was in the middle of major changes.  I was temporarily living in a small, quaint apartment in Utah that I would soon be leaving to accept a new job as regional editor at the Times-News in Twin Falls, Idaho.

Literally blowing in through my door on this cold, snowy night came my son, Lewis, who was on leave from the Army. He was driving down through Sardine Canyon in Northern Utah after visiting friends when he spotted a tiny kitten that had carelessly been set adrift in the snow by some heartless person.

He did what any of my children, who had been taught to love and respect all animals, would have done. He rescued the bit of cold fluff. And now, his cheeks still red with the cold, he dumped her into my lap and said, “Merry Christmas, Mom.” The kitten immediately snuggled herself deep in my heart.

I named her “Chigger,” because later that night, at about 3 a.m., she decided she wanted to play while I wanted to sleep. Since nothing is peskier than chiggers, I decided the name fit her.

She was my companion for the next 18 years.

Bean Pat: The Chase http://tinyurl.com/oavqocr Enjoy fox watching from your armchair. I did. Onion flowers http://tinyurl.com/lt6jy86 Something to think about.

 

Not Much to Say

Yesterday's art

Yesterday’s art

      I prefer tongue-tied knowledge to ignorant loquacity.” –Marcus Tullius Cicero

Until I Thought about my Favorite Books

I think I have writer’s block. I’ve spent the past half hour writing opening sentences for three potential blog topics, then deleted all the words because I didn’t seem to have anything else to add to the first sentences.

Sky and water study from the past. It's interesting to compare my art. I think my current work needs more freedom from my earlier work when I really didn't know what I was doing.

Sky and water study from the past. It’s interesting to compare my art. I think my current work needs more freedom from my earlier work when I really didn’t know what I was doing.

 

What seemed like brilliant ideas at first simply went nowhere.

.          In desperation, I came up with the idea to share the titles of my 10 favorite books. I actually continued on until I had 63 titles, but these were the first 10 that popped into my head.  .

They were:

“Gone with the Wind,” by Margaret Mitchell.

“The Farseer Trilogy” by Robin Hobb.

“The Help,” BY Katheryn Stockett.

“Pillars of the Earth,” by Ken Follett.

“The Great Santini” by Pat Conroy.

“Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood,” by Rebecca Wells.

“Road Fever” by Tim Cahill.

“Wild America” by Roger Tory Peterson and James Fisher.

The World According to Garp” by John Irving.

“I Married Adventure” by Osa Johnson.

What 10 books would you name off the top of your head?

Bean Pat: Mom, We Did It http://tinyurl.com/pxp25yx An amazing story when so much chaos is going on in this world. It gives me hope for a better future.

 

 

Few Things Last Forever

Yesterday's art and the first piece in a new journal that I have promised myself I'm going to add a daily quick sketch.

Yesterday’s art … a scene captured on the hop. — Quick sketch by Pat Bean

            “Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.” – Mahatma Gandhi

            ‘If the highest aim of a captain were to preserve his ship, he would keep it in port forever.” – Thomas Aquina

A Journey through the Mind  

Pepper taking a break on the picnic table after a hard run around the dog park. She got groomed later this day.  -- Photo by Pat Bean

Pepper taking a break on the picnic table after a hard run around the dog park. She got groomed later this day. — Photo by Pat Bean

          As a young, but erratic journal keeper, I quickly realized that what I would write one day would not be the same thing I would write the next day. Not only is memory an infallible tool, life changes us every day.

No one puts this reality into luscious words better than Vita Sackville-West in my favorite writing quote:

   “It is necessary to write, if the days are not to slip emptily by. How else, indeed, to clap the net over the butterfly of the moment? For the moment passes, it is forgotten; the mood is gone; life itself is gone. That is where the writer scores over his fellows: he catches the changes of his mind on the hop.”

While it can be confusing, irritating and even debilitating occasionally, I’m glad my mind, and hence my writing, is constantly in a state of flux. It’s a byproduct of my eagerness to learn something new each and every day, and my willingness to take my ship into unknown waters.

Blog pick of the day.

Blog pick of the day.

Bean Pat:  The Return of the Modern Philosopher http://tinyurl.com/m3udejl A very large umbrella solves the problem. This blogger usually has a very upside down view of life. He makes me laugh.

Rain Makes for Lazy Days

            “What is the purpose of the giant sequoia tree? The purpose of the giant sequoia tree is to provide shade for the tiny titmouse.” – Edward Abbey

I've seen rainbows almost every day for the past week. I'm glad I took time to enjoy them. This one was seen from my bedroom balcony. -- Photo by Pat Bean

I’ve seen rainbows almost every day for the past week. I’m glad I took time to enjoy them. This one was seen from my bedroom balcony. — Photo by Pat Bean

And We’ve Had Rain        

Flowers pop out everywhere in the desert after a rain, and I tried to capture the transformation in this quick watercolor. -- Art by Pat Bean

Flowers pop out everywhere in the desert after a rain, and I think this old painting of mine well captures the excitement of such a transformation. 

     I finally got caught up on my e-mail, household chores and a few other things yesterday after doing little for the past week but watching old Survivor seasons (recently added to Amazon Prime) on my computer, reading a lot, and walking dogs.

I’m retired, and so I shouldn’t feel guilty – but I do.

I wonder what my purpose in life is these days?  It’s a question I’ve long pondered without coming up with a good answer.

Meanwhile, it feels good to once again have my fingers playing on my computer keyboard. And for today that’s enough. I’ve always found it best to simply live in the moment.

Bean Pat: Write like Han Solo http://tinyurl.com/kkuw8gs I found this to be a thought-provoking blog on writing.

Weedy Thoughts

“You cannot forget, if you would, those golden kisses all over the cheeks of the meadow, queerly called dandelions.” – Henry Ward Beecher

I think a dandelion blooming on a manicured lawn is perfect. -- Photo by Pat Bean

I think a dandelion blooming on a manicured lawn is perfect. — Photo by Pat Bean

For Weedy Brains

There’s something in me that loves dandelions. Perhaps it is their cheery yellow petals that glimmer in the sun. Or maybe it’s their fragile, snow-like seeds that scatter after those petals have vanished.  I’ve long tried to capture that fanciful seed-blown storm in a sketches –- but always without success.

 

And I marvel at the miracle of rebirth that occurs wen the golden orb has turned to snowy seeds.  -- Photo by Pat Bean

And I marvel at the miracle of rebirth that occurs when the golden orb has turned to snowy seeds. — Photo by Pat Bean

I enjoy seeing a meadow of dandelions lightning up the side of a hill. But even more I enjoy seeing a single dandelion poking on a manicured lawn. Such  imperfection speaks to my heart because it makes the imperfect perfect.

I think I must have weeds growing in my brain. But that’s OK. I’ll water them anyway.

A Few More Weedy Thoughts        

“A weed is a plant that has mastered every survival skill except for learning how to grow in rows.” – Doug Lawson

            “Roses are red, violets are blue; But they don’t get around, like the dandelions do.” — Slim Acres

            “Weeds are flowers too, once you get to know them.” — A.A. Milne

            “What would the world be, once bereft of wet and wildness? Let them be left … Long live the weeds and the wildness yet.” – Gerard Manley Hopkins        

Blog pick of the day.

Blog pick of the day.

    Bean Pat: The Iris and the Lily http://tinyurl.com/qd9kqby Step outside and take a walk through your garden . Or check out the Ghost Bear Photography,  http://tinyurl.com/k8a88d7 if you’re more ambitious. Nearby or far away, Mother Nature awes us.

A Rainy Day in Tucson

      “Poetry is not the most important thing in life. I’d much rather lie in a hot bath reading Agatha  Christie and sucking sweets.” – Dylan Thomas

I was doing sky exercises with my watercolors, and came up with this one for a stormy day.

I was doing sky exercises with my watercolors, and came up with this one for a stormy day.

And It Captured too Much of my Attention 

It rained here in Tucson yesterday, a hard downpour that pretty much kept up a steady pace from early morning until mid-afternoon. I got drenched twice trying to walk dogs during pauses in the rain. But each time it began raining again before I could get back under a roof.

I  titled this one "After the Storm."

I titled this one “After the Storm.”

I’ve always loved rainstorms, but there seems to be something magical when rain falls in the desert. My neighbor said she watched the patterns of raindrops as they flowed on and off the leaves of the tree that shades her balcony for hours.

I also watched the rain — but only for a few minutes at a time. Even as an old broad, it’s hard for me to stay still doing nothing for long.

Instead, I found myself frequently glancing at the rain out the window that sits in front of my computer, while I tried to do a serious job of line-proofing my book, “Travels With Maggie.” It seemed like a good occupation for a rainy day.

Or maybe not.

I just reread some of what I had proofed yesterday, and found missed mistakes. Some days I don’t think there is an end in sight.

Blog pick of the day.

Blog pick of the day.

Bean Pat: Martha died 100 years ago this month.  http://tinyurl.com/pvoaxsk Who is Martha, you ask? Check out this blog and find out.

 

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